Death of Jesus Christ
QUESTION: Death of Jesus Christ - Is it meaningful to you?ANSWER:
The Bible states; "The law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Hebrews 9:22). The Old Testament sacrifices for sin began even before the law was given through Moses to the nation of Israel. That first sacrifice was the animal that was slain by God to "cover" the nakedness of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21) when they sinned by disobedience to God's only requirement (Genesis 2:17). This covering was an act of God's grace and was a foreshadowing of the last sacrifice for sin, the death of Jesus Christ.
The sacrifice of animals as a covering for sin continued throughout Israel's history until the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. However, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross was the last offering of the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29). The death of Jesus was significant because His death did not just cover sin, it redeemed sin. Those who trust in the LORD Jesus Christ as their savior are redeemed or bought out of sin because Jesus paid the full price for sin and offered God's grace to whoever believes.
The death of Jesus was significant because only that death was the complete and final, once for all sacrifice for the sins of the world. "And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:10).
However, there is truth about the death of Jesus on the cross that is overlooked by many. Jesus' physical death or physical separation from His body was significant but it was only after the price for our sin had been paid and Jesus cried "It is finished" that He died physically. His physical death was important because of the resurrection that followed, however, it was not Jesus' physical death that paid the ransom for the sin of man. If that were all it took then any man's death would have sufficed. The death of Jesus was a unique, one of a kind, once for all death that ransomed mankind from sin and satisfied the righteousness of God and made it possible for man to once again have a personal relationship with God.
The simple definition of death is separation. Jesus and the Father are One and that knowledge was with Jesus through out His life here on earth (John 17:11). However, during the three hours of darkness as Jesus hung on the cross, God judicially placed upon Christ the sin of the world and then turned His face from the Son (Mark 15:34). It was this separation that paid the price for our sin. We know that the Father accepted the Son's sacrifice because Jesus said, "It is finished" and then He cried, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46). It was then that Jesus gave up His Spirit. As Jesus had taught, "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life - only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father" (John 10:17-18).
Therefore Jesus' statement, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6) became total reality with the death of Jesus, His resurrection, and His ascension back to the Father to prepare a place for all who trust in His sacrifice